Snow and ice forces six Covid testing centres to close

Aerial view of Postwick testing centre. Picture: Mike Page

The coronavirus testing site at Postwick park and ride has been shut following heavy snowfall - Credit: Mike Page

Hazardous conditions have forced six of Norfolk's coronavirus testing centres to shut.

The regional testing facility at Postwick - off the A47 east of Norwich - and the walk-in site on Westwick Street in the city were among those closed on Tuesday morning. 

The government is to open a coronavirus drive-through testing centre at Postwick Park and Ride. Pict

The government is to open a coronavirus drive-through testing centre at Postwick Park and Ride. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Mobile testing units at Cromer, Great Yarmouth and at the UEA are also shut, along with the local site at King's Lynn. 

Staff at Postwick could only turn people away as those with bookings arrived to find the entrance gates shut, unaware tests were not being carried out. 

One of them was David Finlay, from Attleborough, who had booked a test for 8am after experiencing Covid symptoms. 

David Finlay, owner of clothing retailer Elements, on Lower Goat Lane, Norwich, says trade has quiet

David Finlay, from Attleborough, was turned away after arriving at the Postwick Covid testing site - Credit: Archant

"When I arrived there were two or three members of staff there," said Mr Finlay. "One opened the gates and said they were closed because of snow.

"You get an email and text confirmation when you book your test, but I had not had a notification about the closure.

"It was not the staff's fault I hadn't been told. He said he was really sorry."

Postwick park and ride coronavirus test centre. Picture: Mike Page

The coronavirus testing site at Postwick park and ride - Credit: Mike Page

Mr Finlay, who owns a clothing business in Norwich, was advised to instead try the walk-through centre at Westwick Street car park, but he was left frustrated again. 

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"It was the same story there," he added. "It seems the people organising this are not communicating very well.

"It is not a major problem for me. I live in Attleborough so it was a good 25 minutes' drive for me given the snow, but the roads were okay.

"Worse things can something and my symptoms have dissipated, but for other people it's not so easy to get there and people should be told to save them wasting their time. 

"For me, it turns out it was a non-essential journey I didn't need to make."

Coronavirus cases are continuing to rise in Norfolk according to the latest figures from Public Heal

Covid testing sites, in Postwick and Norwich, have closed following heavy snowfall - Credit: PA Images

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